The Coalition for Healthy Communities (CHC), collaborates with public and private middle schools in Middlesex County to bring the Be Smart About Medicine (BSAM) program to educate the students in the community.
The program consists of a grade level lesson plan that teachers can deliver in one class period and related on-line resources. BSAM has the potential to reach approximately 25,000 middle school students.
This program will enhance the current health curriculum with a concentrated focus on the dangers of medication misuse.
Among the efforts the Program will offer are resources for students and teachers, as well as a special Parent Toolkit designed to build confidence in parents so they will talk to their kids about prescription misuse. The toolkit will include information on various prescription drugs, signs and symptoms of prescription misuse, helpful "conversation starters" and resource and referral information.
BSAM incorporates a peer-to-peer communication strategy, whereby students participate in a creative expression contest to educate their peers on how and why they should "Be Smart About Medicine". Judges at the school and county level will identify winning entries with the strongest message and best execution.
The culmination of the program is a county-wide recognition event with teachers and family members of the winners in attendance. Through the use of multiple, best practice strategies, BSAM has the potential to make a strong impact at the community level for years to come.